PEI

Province needs to do more with energy strategy, says PC energy critic

The Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party says government has too much of a 'wait and see' approach to the P.E.I. energy strategy instead of setting out a bold vision for the future.

Tories say targets need to be set for renewable resources

More needs to be done with solar energy, says the P.E.I. PC Party. (Town of Stratford)

The Prince Edward Island Progressive Conservative Party says government is taking too much of a 'wait and see' approach to the P.E.I. energy strategy instead of establishing a bold vision for the future. 

The provincial government released its 10-year energy strategy Friday with a long list of recommendations to be explored.

Sidney MacEwen, a member of the standing committee on infrastructure and energy, said the province should set targets for 100 per cent renewable resources and become a leader again in green energy like it was in 2000. 

"You know, why can't we do with solar what we did with wind 10 years ago," he said.

MacEwen said presenters to the standing committee have asked why the province isn't working to achieve renewable targets. 

'Missed the boat'

He added while it may not be possible in the next five to 10 years, the province should still be striving to get there.

MLA Sidney MacEwen is a member of the standing committee on P.E.I.'s energy strategy. (Submitted)

"I think we missed the boat on a solar strategy here," MacEwen said. "There's talk of two new wind farms but we were really hoping that it would....be more ambitious about creating the climate to build a solar energy sector here in P.E.I. that mirrors the success that we had with wind energy."

The province's energy strategy is committed to exploring more industrial-scale solar but says right now it's double the cost of wind energy projects. The province said it is waiting for it to be more cost-effective before launching a utility-scale pilot project.  

But MacEwen said he feels Islanders want to see the province take a leadership role with something different and not to just  "keep tinkering."

"We went out and spent quite a bit of money on this strategy, we've brought experts in here...I feel like we're not committing to it." 

MacEwan said an investment in clean energy would help reduce high energy costs for many Islanders.

now